2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:29 pm

I just got back from Pine Creek. There are three crossings 1) the "footbridge" which is now under water a foot and looks to be damaged, 2) the stock crossing and 3) the lake outlet.

I crossed at the stock crossing. My impression is that it looked easier then it was. It is probably 15 or 20 feet across. (Others I met on the trail said it looked horrible). It was very swift and mid-thigh on me (I am 5'4") IF I walked on the downstream submerged rocks. Upstream in the main channel it is much deeper. I stepped into a hole on the return and for a minute went in crotch deep but luckily recovered. The danger solo is that if one were to fall, you are on the downstream side and would immediately enter the rapids. I think the crossing is safe for groups so you have a spotter. I checked the crossing about 5PM (camped to save the crossing for morning) and it did go down, but only a few inches, not feet. My heavier pack going in actually helped me stabilize. I felt more inclined to be knocked off going out with a lighter pack. I would not attempt this crossing without trekking poles. Use the same method as you would for climbing rock- always have three good points of support, move one, and stabilize before slowly moving one again. I used Crocks. They grip well on wet rock. You may feel more comfortable wearing your hiking shoes and just putting up with wet shoes for a while.

Which brings the lake outlet option. I met a father and son who crossed at the lake because they did not have trekking poles. They were both about 6-ft tall. They said it was mid-thigh to crotch deep wading, with one short section of pretty strong current.

I also met a couple who had used the "footbridge". They did not say much about it. My concern with it is that when logs or debris of any kind are in a stream of that strength, weird things happen with the currents. It just did not look good to me.

I think normal size guys who are experienced at stream crossings, and particularly in a group, should have no problems.

All the other crossings were easier. I crossed the creek from Granite Park several times easily, knee deep.

The amount of snow that still needs to melt and the fact that this snow is now "Sierra Cement" I think bodes for similar stream conditions for quite a while, at least until fall temperatures end the snowmelt. It is still lightly freezing above 11,600 feet every night. It actually could get worse if nights become warm at these higher altitudes.








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DaveDill
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by DaveDill » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:49 am

Thanks very much for the detailed report. Sounds like the lake outlet will be the safest bet but I'll check the stock crossing as well when I arrive next week.

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:59 am

IMG_7209_test2.jpg
Here is a photo of the stock crossing. There is also 5-10 feet of easy no-current flooded water on either side of the actual streambed flow.
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:01 am

I am still learning how to post photos with the attachment method. Did not mean to post 3 photos. How do I delete two?

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SirBC
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by SirBC » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:39 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:I am still learning how to post photos with the attachment method. Did not mean to post 3 photos. How do I delete two?
If you edit the post find the parts where it says [attachment=]... and delete the extra two.

When you say there are three crossings to choose from are they all around 9,900' where the trail crosses the stream on the map?
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maverick
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by maverick » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:17 pm

Did not mean to post 3 photos. How do I delete two?
Fixed WD. :)
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:47 pm

Thanks Mav.

There is a sign pointing to the stock crossing and "footbridge", both located where shown on the map. These two are close. It is about 0.2 mile up to the lake outlet with part of the way on a use-trail and then off-trail- not the easiest to get to.

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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by SirBC » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:18 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Thanks Mav.

There is a sign pointing to the stock crossing and "footbridge", both located where shown on the map. These two are close. It is about 0.2 mile up to the lake outlet with part of the way on a use-trail and then off-trail- not the easiest to get to.
Great, thanks!
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by itlan » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:34 pm

cmego5150 wrote:How did you get across the river at Paradise if the bridge is out?
I made it across at Upper Paradise Valley on July 25 around 8:30am. There is a 3-ft diameter tree that spans nearly the whole width. The root ball is about 4 feet from the near shore and there are smaller trees spanning it to make a ramp. It's sketchy, but it's definitely cross-able. I am not suggesting anyone do this crossing if you are not experienced in river crossings and/or tree bridge crossings. The river doesn't look too bad in the photo, but it is deep and running very fast! There is a partially submerged tree just downstream, which could pin you under the water!

The ranger at Road's End told us the tree bridge "magically washed downstream" shortly after we crossed it... I don't know if this is true. There were some cowboys on the other side watching us and we talked to them after crossing. They were doing trail maintenance on the upper trail "Castle Domes" stretch. Perhaps they had a hand in getting rid of the tree bridge if it is truly gone.
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Re: 2017 River/Stream Crossing Reports

Post by mander715 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:18 pm

Does anyone have any recent reports on the Rock Creek crossings along Little Lakes Valley trail? We're heading up to Gem Lake in a few days. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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